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Re: ELM Copyright

Dale Scheetz wrote:
> On Fri, 10 Oct 1997, Santiago Vila Doncel wrote:
> > On Fri, 10 Oct 1997, Craig Sanders wrote:
> > 
> > > > 	IMHO, with thats license, `elm' cannot be sold alone.  
> > > 
> > > that's not true.  you can sell elm on a disk by itself as long as you're
> > > prepared to sell a blank disk for the same price.
> > 
> > Maybe, but the *spirit* of the license is that you can not charge for
> > *distributing* ELM proper. This is against our DFSG. People should be able
> > to make money (not only "cover costs") from *distributing* free software.
> I agree with Santiago, free sofware isn't Free if you can't sell it!

Let's not get carried away here.  The DFSG says:

     1.   Free Redistribution

          The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from
          selling or giving away the software as a component of an
          aggregate software distribution containing programs from several
          different sources. The license may not require a royalty or other
          fee for such sale.

It says nothing about selling the software by itself.  And that's no
accident, because the DFSG lists the Artistic License as an example
of a free license.  And the Artistic License contains this clause:

| 5. You may charge a reasonable copying fee for any distribution of this
| Package.  You may charge any fee you choose for support of this
| Package.  You may not charge a fee for this Package itself.  However,
| you may distribute this Package in aggregate with other (possibly
| commercial) programs as part of a larger (possibly commercial) software
| distribution provided that you do not advertise this Package as a
| product of your own.

Note the words "reasonable copying fee", and "You may not charge a fee
for this Package itself".  I consider this language equivalent to that
in the Elm license.  If you reject Elm then you must also reject the
Artistic License, for the same reason.

Of course, this need not stop you from arguing that Debian's
definition of "free" should be made stricter.  I just wanted to point
out that that means changing the Guidelines, which is IMHO not very
likely to happen.

Richard Braakman

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